WGC Cadillac Championship 2012: Will Luke Donald Regain His World No. 1 Ranking?

Daniel ZhuContributor IMarch 10, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 09:  Luke Donald of England watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of the World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship on the TPC Blue Monster Course at Doral Golf Resort And Spa on March 9, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Luke Donald was at the top of both worlds last year. He collected two victories on the PGA Tour in 2011 and also won two events overseas on the European Tour. With his victory at the BMW PGA Championship, Donald dethroned Lee Westwood as World No. 1 and rose to the pinnacle of the golfing world.

Cap that all off with both money titles on the PGA and European Tour and the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award, and Donald had arguably his best season by far.

The glamor, the glory and his top spot in the golfing world were all curtailed last week when Rory McIlroy snatched away Donald's top spot with a victory at the Honda Classic. So, now, this week at the WGC Cadillac Championship, McIlroy is No. 1 and Donald will hold the second spot.

To give this new rivalry an extra twist, Rory hasn't been playing his greatest golf this week. But Donald, being the consistent player he is, is only six back of second-round leader Bubba Watson.

After a decent two-under-par round of 70 to kick start Donald's opening day, the former World No. 1 came back with a strong second-round 68 to put him at six-under heading into the weekend. His five birdies and only a single bogey should give Donald a confidence boost when he heads into Saturday's third round.

McIlroy, on the other hand, struggled with a two-over-par opening day, but he backed it up with a four-under-par 68 to put the new World No. 1 at two-under-par.

McIlroy is 10 back of leader Bubba Watson, who sits at 12-under-par, so Donald has a little bit of an opening here to regain his top spot in golf.

With his consistent play, Donald should be able to move up the leaderboard with a stellar third round and be poised to capture the title heading into the final round. If he can pull this one off and walk away with the trophy, Donald will ascend back to his World No. 1 ranking and resume his throne.

Of course, he'll have to put together two solid rounds and compete against some of golf's finest in order to reach the summit.